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See more synonyms for aileron on Thesaurus.com
  1. Aeronautics. a movable surface, usually near the trailing edge of a wing, that controls the roll of the airframe or effects maneuvers, as banks and the like.
  2. a wall at the end of a roof with a single slope, as that of a church aisle.
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Origin of aileron

1905–10; < French, equivalent to ail(e) (see aisle) + -eron diminutive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for aileron

pennon, appendage, feather, aileron, airfoil, pinion

Examples from the Web for aileron

Historical Examples of aileron

  • They shot away my aileron control, and we were in a very bad way.

    Some Naval Yarns

    Mordaunt Hall

  • The part of the wing which can be warped is called the aileron.

    The Romance of Aircraft

    Lawrence Yard Smith

  • In that way I depress the aileron on the side I want to sail.

  • If one wing tends to dip, the aileron on that side is depressed.

  • Why, they couldn't tell an aileron from an elevator if it was to save their lives!


    B. M. Bower

British Dictionary definitions for aileron


  1. a flap hinged to the trailing edge of an aircraft wing to provide lateral control, as in a bank or roll
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Word Origin for aileron

C20: from French, diminutive of aile wing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for aileron


1909, from French aileron, altered (by influence of aile "wing"), from French aleron "little wing," diminutive of Old French ele "wing" (12c.), from Latin ala "wing" (see aisle).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aileron in Science


  1. A hinged surface that is part of the back edge of each wing on an airplane. The ailerons are moved up or down to create uneven lift on the sides of the plane to control its rolling and tilting movements.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.